History of The Flush Toilet Plumber Invention
Contrary to common belief, the flush toilet plumber invention can’t be attributed to Thomas Crapper. In fact, it was Sir John Harington, the godson of Queen Elizabeth I, who must be credited with the invention. He invented this in 1596.
Although the Queen was enthusiastic about Harrington’s invention, unfortunately, the public still preferred the good ole’ chamber-pot. As we know, chamber-pots were usually emptied from windows into the street. Not surprisingly, a Public Health Act which was implemented in 1848, ruled that every new house had to have a ‘W.C’, ‘ash-pit’ or ‘privy’. However, it was not until the end of the 18th century, that the flushable toilet went mainstream.
I don’t think that anyone could have foreseen that we would one day have flushable toilets as powerful as this:
The Super Toilet Can Flush Anything!
(Don’t try this at home folks! Lol)
Alexander Cummings – Flush Toilet Patent In 1775
It was Alexander Cummings, (a Scottish watchmaker and instrument inventor), who patented the first design for the flush toilet in 1775. He was born in Edinburgh in 1733, and he died in 1814.
You won’t be surprised to learn that Alexander Cummings wasn’t just a watchmaker. He was a mathematician and mechanic too. He had previously been an apprentice to an Edinburgh watchmaker.
The flush toilet had been pioneered by Sir John Harrington, but he had been unable to solve the problem of foul smells. Fortunately for us, Alexander Cummings S-shaped pipe, (which was located underneath the basin), could keep out foul odors. ?
Cummings design ensured that the water could be permanently retained within the bowl. This then prevented sewer gases from entering buildings.
Even today we still use modified versions of Cummings design, called a ‘U- or J-shaped pipe trap’, which is located below or within the plumbing fixture.
Thomas Crapper – Toilet Technology Patents In 1800s
Although Thomas Crapper wasn’t responsible for the flush toilet plumber invention, he did a lot to improve its popularity. In the late 1800’s he received many patents for improving toilet technology. He can be credited with important inventions, like the ‘ballcock’ (an automatic valve).
Thomas Crapper was born in 1836. He got a position as an apprentice to a master plumber when he was just 14 years old. By the age of 25, he had founded his company ‘Thomas Crapper & Co’ in London. He died in England in 1910, aged 73.
Interesting Plumbing Facts
- The word ‘lavatory’ comes from the Latin word ‘lavare’, which means ‘to wash.’
- In the 1870s, Thomas Crapper is credited with opening the world’s first bathroom show-room. This was in London.
- In the 1880’s, Thomas Crapper installed lavatories in several royal palaces for Prince Edward (who would later become King Edward VII).
- NASA spent around $30 million in the 1990s, developing new ‘space-loos’ for their astronauts.
- In 1860, the Reverend Henry Moule invented the first ‘eco-loo’. He named it the ‘Earth Closet’. The device used dry earth to flush, not water.
- The word ‘crap’ is of Middle English origin. It first appeared in 1846, in the Oxford English Dictionary, with reference to a ‘privy’ or ‘crapping ken.’
- The first public loo was installed by George Jennings at London’s ‘Great Exhibition’ in 1851. An attendant stood by the loo and charged each person that used it, one penny. This is where the term ‘spend a penny’ is said to have come from.
- In 1935, a British company which produced toilet paper, advertised their product as being ‘splinter-free’! ?
History Of The Toilet
Using the bathroom is something which we all just take for granted. However, after reading about the flush toilet plumber invention, you’ll probably think to yourself how lucky we are to be living in modern times, lol. Going to the toilet couldn’t have been too pleasant for the first human beings on Earth. ?
Some historians say that there is proof that toilets using water existed during the Indus Valley Civilization. This is up to 5,000 years ago! Others say that the evidence can take us as far back as 12,000 years ago, to where more primitive toilets using water existed.
What do you believe? Check out these two videos, maybe they can help you make up your mind? ?
A Very Brief History
A More In-Depth History
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